West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly Elections | 22% of candidates in phase 4 face criminal cases

A shopkeeper sells political party symbols and flags at a shop, ahead of the State Assembly polls, in Kolkata, Thursday, March 18, 2021. File.

A shopkeeper sells political party symbols and flags at a shop, ahead of the State Assembly polls, in Kolkata, Thursday, March 18, 2021. File.

A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said 22% of the candidates in the fray for phase-IV of the West Bengal Assembly elections had declared pending criminal cases in their election affidavits.

In its analysis of affidavits of 372 of 373 candidates from 44 constituencies, ADR found that 17% of them had serious criminal cases.

The average assets of the candidates was ₹92.34 lakh, while 17% of them had assets over ₹1 crore. The complete affidavit of one candidate was not available, ADR said, releasing its findings on Saturday.

The report said 61% of the 44 BJP candidates, 73% of the 22 Communist Party of India (Marxist) nominees, 22% of the nine Congress candidates and 39% of the 44 Trinamool Congress analysed had declared criminal cases.

Out of the 44 constituencies in phase-IV, 12 constituencies were “red alert constituencies” as they had three or more candidates with pending criminal cases, ADR said.

Citing the Supreme Court’s order to parties to publicise the criminal antecedents of their candidates and give reasons for choosing such candidates, the report said: “The directions of the Supreme Court have had no effect on the political parties in selection of candidates in Phase IV of the West Bengal Assembly Elections as they have again followed their old practice of giving tickets to around 22% candidates with criminal cases.”

ADR said the numbers showed that parties had “no interest in reforming the electoral system and our democracy”.


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 10:37:02 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/22-per-cent-of-candidates-in-phase-4-face-criminal-cases/article34231542.ece